Horror Review: All Through the House (2016)

house-1PLOT

A killer dressed as Santa Claus is stalking a small town on his way home, killing young women and castrating men.  This will be one Christmas painted red!

REVIEW

With Halloween coming up, it’s a perfect time for horror (well, all year round is perfect for horror), but I’m a sucker for Christmas horror films (Black Christmas 1974, Gremlins, and Krampus being some of my favorites), so I was super pumped when I initially saw the trailer for All Through the House.  It looked like a badass throwback to 80s slasher films, and the movie was just that!

The movie was a perfect throwback to the golden age of slasher films, feeling like it would have fit right in the 80s, if you erase all the modern technology.  With likable characters and a well tuned script, the movie fired mostly aces.  The dialogue was clever in places and I found the drama really well done and the horror quite suspenseful.  Wait until you get to the killer under the bed sequence!  That scene had me chewing my nails in fear.  I was expecting a fun slasher, but I was surprised by how scary the film was, and it still managed to have a lot of dark humor as well. 

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I blame this on having a great director who really knew how to shoot the scenes and generate actual good suspense and some jump scares that actually made me jump.  The cinematography was wonderful and the film’s mix of psychological terror added an extra layer to the film, that made it stand out as a slasher film. Every shot of the film felt like Christmas, with some kind of decoration standing out in each film whether in the background or in the forefront, almost adding more to the creep factor.

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And props must go out to the casting director for getting such a good cast for a low-budget indie horror film.  The majority of the cast did a swell job (there was some wooden acting in places, but no big deal as it didn’t harm the film and kind of added some humor), but the film belonged to Ashley Mary Nunes and Melynda Kiring.  Nunes made for an incredible final girl (with a great chase scene to boot) and Kiring was absolutely excellent as the not all together there Ms. Garrett.  I expect great things for both actresses as they are a BIG reason why the film works so well.  Without these two, the film could have fallen apart. 

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Many characters were introduced only to be killed off in their one scene, which didn’t totally bother me as it not only added to the body count, but added to the fun!  I do wish these other characters were maybe introduced in an earlier scene so they don’t seem so thrown in there.  The gore ran plentiful and PRACTICAL, with nearly every death scene taking place on screen, and one wheelchair death scene that had me laughing.  I do wish the music score was more memorable.  It was fine, but I wish it had stuck with me longer (maybe a good synth score would have been more appropriate).  Overall though, this is one of the best slasher films of the year, and in a LONG TIME.  Fun, gory, and scary in one package and the film threw in a cute little romance as well, and it all comes down to a final scene that was both confusing and interesting (and left me wanting to know what was going to happen next).  This is one gory  gift you need to unwrap!  I have now seen the movie four times, and it’s still fun, so that says a lot!

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VERDICT

five-stars-2

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